After ten years of blissful marriage, Navy Pilot Nate Chandler is divorcing his cheating husband. Single for the first time in years, Nate is numb to all emotion and kisses any chance of another relationship goodbye.
Not only is Nate struggling to get through this divorce, but his body is branded with a permanent reminder of his failed marriage: a matching tattoo with his ex. Searching for a place to cover up his old tattoo, Nate finds himself at the Skin Deep, Inc., where he meets the young and charming cover-up tattoo apprentice, Lucas Brandt.
From just flirty glances to steamy hot encounters, Nate and Lucas dive headfirst into a fling of hookups. But worried that he’ll forever be Nate’s “cover up” rebound relationship, Lucas fears that their love won’t be anything more than just skin deep. What was once just a casual attraction, Lucas now hopes to turn into a real relationship. But will he be able to convince the still tender-hearted Nate to fall in love again?
Third installment of L.A. Witt’s Skin Deep romance series, COVER UP is a story of passion, pleasure, and happily ever after.
The Meta Details:
Length: 250 pages
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Genre: MM romance, military romance, contemporary romance
Content Level: adult
Pearl Clutching Content: CAUGHT IN THE ACT by employers and realtors
Trigger Warnings: slut shaming, previous cheating (not the main characters)
Featuring: bi tattoo artist with confidence issues, gay RIO currently rebounding and not handling emotions
Recommended for: fans of men in and out of uniform
Rating: seriously good
Ginny Lurcock’s Thoughts: The second book by L.A. Witt I read within a week before I started Cover Up I wondered how she could produce so many books in a short period of time. After reading I know that it’s because these two books were very similar in the beginning.
A gay man in Navy gets out of long relationship due to partner cheating. Meets hot younger bi guy in an unlikely situation. Temporary “must be straight” gets straightened out quickly. We’re off to the races with hot steamy rebound sex that’s not a rebound and oh look we’ve developed feelings.
And part of me wanted to be super cynical about this, but if it gets me more quality gay romance I don’t care if the setup is similar. Fuck, if you really look at authors who publish a lot of romance it usually follows the same patterns. I know exactly when in the story the emotional highs and lows are going to come in. Tessa Dare comes to mind, and I read her books over and over and over again. As long as the characters and emotions are unique and genuine, who the fuck cares if the setup is formulaic.
And I’m happy to report that the emotional issues that Lucas and Nate have to overcome are unique from Rank and File. Their individual problems that they have to overcome mesh together in a way that is either really good or catastrophic depending on how you look at it. (As a reader, it’s really good… because their insecurities and shortcomings just feed into one another.)
Fuck, for a moment near the end I was almost rooting for Caleb to get a second shot, even though Lucas is my new favorite and I just want to smoosh his cheeks forever. My poor, overworked, underconfident little baby bi boy.
There was honest, genuine emotion with true to life characters in both books. And while I might have noticed the similarities even if not reading them practically back to back, I cannot say those same similarities impacted my enjoyment in any way.
In fact, the only thing that curbed my enjoyment was, again, the overuse of the words manwhore and slut. Sex positivity is important in all works, and even though the characters aren’t being shit on for their pasts, there is a judgmental air about the whole thing.
But that’s a rant for another time…
A complimentary copy of this book was provided in exchange for a fair and honest review via Netgalley.